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Download The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan, by Atia Abawi Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Atia Abawi Narrator: Ariana Delawari, Assaf Cohen Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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An eye-opening, heart-rending tale of love, honor, and betrayal from veteran foreign-news correspondent Atia Abawi

Fatima is a Hazara girl, raised to be obedient and dutiful. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy raised to defend the traditions of his tribe. They were not meant to fall in love. But they do. And the story that follows shows both the beauty and the violence in current-day Afghanistan as Fatima and Samiullah fight their families, their cultures, and the Taliban to stay together.

Based on the people Atia Abawi met and the events she covered during her nearly five years in Afghanistan, this stunning novel is a must-read for anyone who has lived during America’s war in Afghanistan. Perfect for fans of Patricia McCormick, Linda Sue Park, and Khaled Hosseini, this story will stay with readers for a long time to come.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Abawi’s debut [is] about a cross-cultural love affair that tears at a small Afghan community…A suspenseful, enlightening, and hopeful love story.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Fatima (Fato) is from the Hazara tribe, and Samiullah (Sami) is Pashtun, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. Their cultural differences make the conflict between the Capulets and Montagues look like child’s play…[and] their journey turns from danger to torture and worse. Abawi writes with a gentle hand as she tells a tale of tribal rituals that’s chilling to the bone…[A] heartbreaking rendering of forbidden love.”


  • "[A] fascinating, if disturbing, examination of what Abawi calls in her author’s note a ‘traditionally conservative society’ faced with globalization and modernity.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Literature

  • “Riveting plot, sympathetic characters, and straightforward narration studded with vivid, authentic detail: a top choice.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A riveting tale written from the heart. This powerful love story will leave you angry at injustice and awed by courage. It shocks and inspires.”

    Lyse Doucet, chief international correspondent, BBC

  • “Brilliantly captures the magic and the heartbreak of Afghanistan as only someone rooted in its mystery can…[and] has the authenticity of raw journalism and the poetry of a gifted writer. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the contradictions of the Afghan soul.”

    Andrea Mitchell, television journalist, anchor, reporter, and commentator for NBC News

  • “Narrators Ariana Delawari and Assaf Cohen fully inhabit the vulnerability and uncertainty of present-day Afghanistan teenagers Fatima and Sami…Delawari and Cohen dramatize both characters’ internal monologues as they process their feelings of love and fear…Cohen deftly distinguishes between candid Sami and Rashid…When narrating the novel’s most horrific scenes, the narrators never overplay the tragedy but commit fully to the heartbreaking lines of dialogue, forcing listeners to engage with the important and difficult subject matter.”


  • A Selection of the Amelia Bloomer Project Award
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